If You’re a Republican, Politics Trumps America Every Time

McCain caught doing his best Rodney “I don’t get no respect” Dangerfield imitation

There is no doubt the killing of four Americans in Benghazi is a tragedy and there should be the required reviews and assessment of the situation to learn what we can, understand what was not done that maybe should have been and to work to reduce the likelihood this will happen again.  I say reduce as I expect to take any position that implies there is anything we can do that will prevent these sort of incidents in the future would be stupid and illogical – especially given the temperament of the world today.  I would doubt that any ambassador or any staff member in a US embassy in most of the rest of the world recognizes they take the position with some element of risk being evident.   Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to protect them but we are not dealing with people or situations where we can anticipate every move and action.   There are actions to be taken but to turn this political is unacceptable.  This brings me to today’s “Head in the Butt” award.

The Dynamic Duo of 2008 – Two halfwits not adding up to a whole

There was a time where I had a lot of respect and time for John McCain.  He was a man who had served his country and a man who appeared to obviously have some standards for which he stood – and he actually seemed to be a pretty nice guy  – at least from afar.  My naiveté.  As he took the national and global stage in his run for President, it quickly became clear that behind the public persona I had seen was someone who was pretty much a jerk, someone who was pretty angry and basically a man who was pretty much a bastard.  With his pick of Palin for VP he further showed his inability to understand what was important and the degree of his shortsightedness.  To think he could have foisted that half-wit of a governor on this country is unconscionable and the fact he would allow the Republican Party to push that on him puts his leadership ability seriously in question.  His recent attacks on Obama and Susan Rice continue to show this is a man who has an ax to grind and again reminds us of the Peter Principle in practice.  I can only imagine where this country would be four years later and with the challenges we have faced.  But I digress.  These most recent McCain political attacks show that he is no different from the rest of his party and he will put politics before country.   His grandstanding and his obvious lack of civility brings only one good thing to the forefront – we get to see the newly enthused Barack Obama start to show the muscle and attitude many of us have figured was there and were waiting to see.  So on that note, thanks, John.  You’re still an asshole but every cloud has a silver lining.

So today, please take a bow and accept the most recent “Head in the Butt” award.  In reality, I think it is long overdue.

There was a close runner up but not this time Lindsey.   Lindsey Graham, by joining the same chorus with McCain, definitely put himself in contention for the “Head in the Butt” award.  Unfortunately, this time around you weren’t quite up to the same level of cluelessness but I have to give you some slack given your area of study in college – one I expect leaves you entirely out of step with many of us but probably more in line (or at least a little ahead) with many of your Republican peers.  Your B.A. in Pseudoscience actually implies you have some inkling that science might have some bearing in our lives.  I, for one, didn’t know this even existed as a major in any college.  It seems somewhat contrary to most of what I would expect from any college curriculum but that could be my shortcoming.  For others in my same stead, Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories (Wikipedia).  I expect this helps when you want to basically ignore fact and make it up as it meets your need.  So, Lindsey, I’m not of the mindset you should get the “Head up the Butt” award but have no issue giving you a runner up prize of the other award of notice – the “Bag of Shit” award seems appropriate given I can’t expect you to look at anything beyond the use of vague and unprovable claims.

Yes Lindsey, that is pretty rank – on par with your recent attack on Susan Rice.

Romney – World Leader? – not

“Study the past if you would define the future.”   ―    Confucius

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  Sir Winston Churchill

There are a host of reasons to have concerns about a new Republican administration led by Romney and Ryan.  It is obvious to many that neither man has any real depth of understanding or solution to anything going on in the US today or even more so, the world beyond our shores.  To think that Romney will somehow figure it all out and do things differently tomorrow ignores the longstanding view that the past is the best predictor of the future.  In some ways it actually transcends Romney and can be applied to the platform and plans for America set out by the Republican Party.  To think that repeating actions and approaches tried in the past will somehow have a different result in the future is again reflective of the degree of ignorance and denial present in much of the public today.  I wouldn’t apply that same ignorance and denial to the real leaders and key proponents of returning to the policies of the past since they know better than any it is the best way to not only keep their wealth but to enable it’s growth in the future.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and  expecting different results. – Albert  Einstein

Even ignoring Mitt’s faux pas on his recent world tour where he managed to insult multiple countries without really trying.  Now, after the most recent statements by Romney this past Tuesday as events unfolded in Libya it is time to get even more concerned as we get more insight into his position on Foreign Policy.  First off, I’ll give him credit for recognizing what he doesn’t know and assembling a group of people experienced in foreign policy – He has gathered a group of 24 “advisors (as listed on his website) as well several other individuals whom form an inner circle of advice, a majority serving under previous Republican (Bushx2) adminstrations – the administrations who have taken us to war on several occasions and who have cost our country numerous lives.  I am reminded these wars have also helped set the view the rest of the world has of the US.   So do we really have to wonder what stance or position foreign policy will take in a Romney presidency?  Again, history is the best predictor of the future and this predictor doesn’t take a brain surgeon or rocket scientist to figure out.  This is a direction of shoot first and ask questions later (if indeed questions are ever asked as the answers might not support the direction).   We saw this again this week as the tragedy in Libya played itself out and the violence escalated across other countries.  The decision by Romney to take the opportunity to make it a political attack rather than take the broader and more knowing approach that faster is not always better gives immediate rise to the type of leader Romney will be.  This is made even worse by the fact that Romney seems to have few thoughts and ideas himself and instead draws positions an decisions from those around him or where the immediate political reward is the greatest.  Not sure we have a chess master at work here…maybe chinese checkers or tiddlywinks.

We can also see how connected Romney is to the world and what forces are at work in his statement several weeks back on the position that Russia is America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.”  Now while I wouldn’t dismiss Russia as a foe, not sure it has moved back into that cold war status.  But worse yet, again indicating that Romney is either too naive or too stupid to realize consequences of an open mouth policy.  The statements by Vladimir Putin need little explanation as to the potential longer term effect of speaking without thinking or understanding the broader implications.

From ABC News:

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that Mitt Romney’s characterization of Moscow as the United States’ “number one geopolitical foe” has actually helped Russia.

The Russian leader said Romney’s comments strengthened his resolve to oppose NATO’s plan for a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, a system Russia believes will degrade its nuclear deterrent. The U.S. insists the system is aimed at Iran, not Russia.

“I’m grateful to him (Romney) for formulating his stance so clearly because he has once again proven the correctness of our approach to missile defense problems,” Putin told reporters, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

“The most important thing for us is that even if he doesn’t win now, he or a person with similar views may come to power in four years. We must take that into consideration while dealing with security issues for a long perspective,” he said, speaking after a meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, according to Interfax news agency.

Might only be my read of it but it doesn’t sound like Mitt’s statement provided much help to an already complex and dangerous situation.  But then again, one has to wonder if this launch of a foreign policy stance by a Republican isn’t as much an attempt to re-kindle the fire that has kept the military industrial machine well oiled and lined the pockets of such luminaries as Dick Cheney and Halliburton.

So here we have a glimpse into Romney’s experience in the area of foreign policy – his only real experience to date being the outsourcing of US jobs to a foreign country or two. In his message, we also get a glimpse of Mitt’s ignorance (or at least ignoring) of foreign influence.  Good to know since to date, most of the focus in the Romney camp has been on the US economy and his sweeping statements (and a dearth of details) of his plans to make things better.  I would submit it is a quite different world than Reagan and even the first Bush had to deal with.  And we see what happened in the 2nd Bush years when the global community had taken a position of greater influence and control and where complexity grew and global economics and forces clashed with the historical Republican answers to everything.

See definition of Insanity ==> above.

Idaho – why am I not surprised?

The lack of civility and the degree of hate has no bounds apparently.  This billboard was recently put up in Idaho (a mecca of intelligence to begin with) that takes the recent tragedy in Colorado to a new level of mindless and hateful politics.  How convenient to put ownership of the wars in Afghanastan and Iraq in Obama’s foreign policy.  How insensitive to highlight the horrible event in Aurora.  I would wonder if Mr. Smeed, the 90 year old very senior citizen behind the billboard, would have erected the same sentiment if this same event had occurred during the Bush years – the man who’s foreign policy actually got us there.

Yes, people have the right to say what they think and feel – it is just amazing how some have no boundaries when it comes to sensitivity and human feelings.  Here is another person where the world will be better off with his passing.